Sunday, November 11, 2012

Help Sandy victims: Donate to Teamsters Disaster Relief Fund

If you can't be there to help with this Teamster brother, please donate
to the Teamsters Disaster Relief Fund.
The extent of the damage from Superstorm Sandy is staggering -- and underreported. As many as 40,000 people are homeless in New York alone. More than 250,000 cars may have been lost. And 130,000 people on Long Island still don't have power two weeks after the storm.

More than 100 people died in the hurricane, including Brother Bobbie McDuffie from Local 863 and Connor and Brendan Moore, the young sons of Damian Moore, a member of Local 831. Many Teamsters lost their homes.

Teamsters are packing and loading and driving trucks, buses and HiLos in a massive effort to deliver supplies to victims of the storm. Right now, drivers are needed at the Red Cross's Jersey City warehouse, 100 Industrial Drive.

The vast majority of Teamsters, of course, can't come to Jersey City to help out. The best thing you can do is to donate to the Teamsters Disaster Relief Fund.

Brother Roy Gillespie shared this explanation of why money matters:
Relief groups need very specific things, along with cash and organization. Instead, they get vases and vacuum cleaners, or interference from well-intentioned volunteers who think they're helping but are just hindering efforts. 
"It's really been a lot of stuff really affecting the disaster site," said James McGowan, the associate director of partnerships at the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, who made the "second disaster" analogy. "They're just showing up and they're not coordinated with the agencies." 
Ad hoc relief groups need to make sure they are taking in only items that are requested and can be distributed. Money is the best because organizations don't have to pay to move it and can tailor spending to changing needs, McGowan said. Transporting and distributing a simple donated can of food can be $15 to $25.
You can send a check or donate online. Click here to find out more.